Trish Clowes: A View With A Room

British saxophonist sounds as if she's managed to subsume all influence in an album of unassumingly mature music-making

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It seems as though Trish Clowes, by dint perhaps of not commanding the marketing budget enjoyed by some figures in contemporary jazz, quietly plows her own furrow and in so doing makes music of greater substance than that managed by a lot of the “stars”. So it comes as no surprise that this album is brimming with unassumingly mature music-making.

On The Ness both Clowes and Stanley turn in ear-catching solos and the essential complexity of the piece proves no obstacle to intrigue. This ear remains cocked and the interest engaged, not least because this is a group with little or no interest in empty rhetoric.

Amber is rich, with the impression that the music draws upon little outside of itself. The shades of Wayne Shorter heard in Clowes’ work in the past have now been politely consigned to history and her own musical personality has emerged more.

Morning Song is lyrical without being cloying, and the “dry” recording quality serves the music well because it’s unlikely that the listener will become preoccupied with any other than the sounds of the music in progress. This is especially so with reference to Clowes’ solo, which again is free of empty gestures and rich in substance, while Chris Montague is so much his own man that only very faint echoes of Mick Goodrick are detectable.

No Idea is rife with ideas, including a collective restraint which gives the music some air at the same time as proving no hindrance to individual expression.

Discography
A View With A Room; The Ness; Amber; Morning Song; No Idea; Ayana; Time; Almost (49.26)
Clowes (ts, ss); Ross Stanley (p, elp, org); Chris Montague (g); James Maddren (d). Livingston Studios, London, 31 August and 1 September 2021.
Greenleaf Music GRE CD 1094